iOS Apps: CamLock & AutoPainter


My friend Alastair (of Glidetrack fame) yesterday introduced me to CamLock, an interesting iOS camera app that lets you control various aspects of the camera when shooting video.

Of course, the most important feature for me, is exposure lock. It’s the only way to shoot a video, under a somewhat controlled lighting, where brightness doesn’t jump left and right — making it look very unprofessional. But apart this basic feature (that all phone should support by default), the app comes with other features too, like locking white balance, locking focus, setting exposure by tapping somewhere in the scene, and using a grid and a bubble indicator to keep things straight while shooting.

Unfortunately, there is a bug with iOS 4.3.x and exposure doesn’t stay locked if you try to lock it before you start recording. Thankfully, it can be locked after you start recording, so the problem is not really that huge.

On the iPod Touch 4th Gen that I tested the app, the focus lock does not work. I’m thinking that the camera model on the iPod and iPad might not support that. Here’s a video I shot showing the exposure lock:


The other app I got across today was AutoPainter. You can make any of your pictures look like Aquarell, Benson, Cezanne or Van Gogh. It’s fully automatic, and it works surprisingly well. There is also a way to direct the program to pay extra attention to some objects in the picture, but this is only optional — depends on the look you’re after. I used this on my iPod Touch, but I bet its “AutoPainter HD” version looks great on the iPad. There’s a more full-featured version for the PC & Mac too (samples).


Glenn wrote on May 5th, 2011 at 7:14 AM PST:

Movie camera, Pro Camera and Professional Camera will let you lock the exposure also. I’m sure there are more, but those are the only ones I’ve managed to find so far. Movie camera is probably the pick of the bunch, but is a little bit more expensive. I’m actually looking for one of those 8mm style apps that will let you lock the exposure to use on my iPad2.

zima wrote on May 12th, 2011 at 7:07 AM PST:

Any month now… (and I wouldn’t be surprised if total numbers of pics & vids taken on all mobile phones are already greater) There’s even a video editor in YT, I suppose it would make the above exploration of future “average tools” complete [*] ;p (though seriously, it supposedly has some slick stabilization tech now) – maybe except the stage of editing happening mostly on large touchscreen devices? (at least iPad already has video editing software; I suspect it might become a quite transformational experience – especially in the size league close to the, mentioned by me recently as a possible method of recapturing kitchen-like workflow 😉 , MS Surface)

With AutoPainter treatment those Androids end up even more creepy than they already are. Especially 3rd pic. Can’t wait for Kaiju movie with Viktorian-era / steampunk ones 😉 (hm, maybe also with good-looking automatic rotoscoping, transformation of video into such “paintings”; BTW I’m a bit surprised – this being largely a video-focused site and all ;p – that you didn’t try AutoPainter with short, low-fps clip – maybe not much longer than such weird / cute / ultimate miniform)

[*]BTW, regarding more “serious” scenarios – seems we might get a new NLE of choice for indies?

zima wrote on May 12th, 2011 at 7:21 AM PST:

PS. German Wiki article (GTranslate works fine) might strike better balance between thoroughness and conciseness (on-paper capabilities of free version seem more than enough…)

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